New towers are beginning to take shape at the site of what was dubbed the city’s ugliest building.

Three structures in Preston Road, Brighton, between 12 and 14 storeys tall have been erected as part of a development to build more than 200 homes.

The tower blocks replace Anston House, which was left abandoned for more than 30 years and was known as Brighton’s ugliest building.

Passers-by have seen the cores of all three buildings taking shape, with construction also under way for the rest of the structure.

Cranes have been towering above the site as work continues.

The Argus: Anston House was dubbed 'Brighton's ugliest building'Anston House was dubbed 'Brighton's ugliest building'

Once finished, the new towers will contain a total of 229 flats at the site near Preston Park.

Described by one councillor as a “blot on the landscape”, Anston House was built in the 1960s but was left derelict after being demolished since 1987.

Planning permission was granted by the council in 2020 and demolition of the building began in March the following year.

One resident told The Argus at the time he was “really happy to see the back of Anston House".

The Argus: An artist's impression of what the new development will look like, from the view of Preston ParkAn artist's impression of what the new development will look like, from the view of Preston Park

Brighton architects Conran and Partners, who laid out the design for the new development, said the new towers will “provide much-needed new contemporary homes and workspace within the city”.

Of the 299 flats to be constructed, around 30 will be affordable homes, with some of the rents expected to be at 80 per cent of the local market level. 

Others will be capped at the “local housing allowance” rate, the amount paid in housing benefit to people renting from private landlords.


Half the affordable homes will be one-bedroom flats, with the others being two-bedroom flats.

At least three of the affordable flats will also be wheelchair-accessible.

The development, set to cost £70 million to complete, could give the local economy a £140 million boost, according to one economic analysis.

The scheme is also expected to generate “developer contributions” worth around £1.3 million for the council, with the money being used to fund school places, open spaces and transport measures.